Scott Massey - Steve Stoyko [A04]
2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (4) 1985
This game is one of the best illustrations of what I've called, only half-jokingly, Stoyko's "sadistic" strategy of never giving his opponent what he wants. Charles Adelman's contemporary commentary tells us how this worked in the present opening situation: "Massey has recently shown a fondness for a Closed Sicilian set-up. He wants to play 4 Bg2, 5 0-0, 6 d3 and 7 e4 but Stoyko crosses him up by snapping off the knight, thus disturbing White's pawn structure. Although the objective merits of Stoyko's move can be questioned, the move is nevertheless very strong psychlogically...."
"This move is dubious since it further restricts the range of White's dark-squared bishop, but White was hoping to be able to swap this bishop off."
"Now white is crossed up even further. It may appear that black is dangerously weakening his dark-squares, but the truth is that since white's dark-squared bishop is firmly locked out, he will be unable to exploit black's weakness. Meanwhile, the black bishop will make its presence known on the long diagonal. " And, most importantly, Stoyko has frustrated his opponent's plan of exchanging dark-squared Bishops which has both practical and psychological effects.
"Black is building up his queenside forces in impressive fashion so white must start some action on the kingside for some counterplay. The move opens some lines and creates a passed pawn along the h-file."
"An extremely strong move that clears h8 for the bishop thus blockading the h-pawn and keeping the pressure along the long diagonal."
(? Adelman) Adelman writes: "In time pressure, white makes a move that wastes two tempi. 26. Rh4 immediately was better." Fritz and several computer programs prefer Massey's move.
"This attacks the pawn for the third time and white must drop his knight back to defend it. Obviously, the rook cannot be taken due to the knight fork at c4."
This is a very complex situation, since both Kings are potentially exposed and pieces are hanging. White has two alternatives suggested by computer analysis which may force a draw:
a) 27. Qe2!? Rxd4 28. Kb1 Nc4! (28... Rg8? 29. Bxe7) 29. Bxe7! Rxf4 (29... Kxe7 30. Rxd4 Qxd4 31. Qxe6+ Kd8 32. Qxd5+ Qxd5 33. Bxd5 Na3+ 34. Kc1+/-) 30. Bc5! (30. Bxf8 Rf2-+) 30... Qxc5 31. Qxe6+ Qe7 32. Qc6+ (32. Qc8+? Kf7 33. Bxd5+ Kf6-/+) 32... Qd7 33. Rhe1+ Re4 34. Qg6+ Qf7 35. Qc6+ Qd7 36. Qg6+=
"It appears that black has trapped his own rook but Stoyko has seen further."
"A very difficult move to face right before the time control. Now black's queenside pawns and the placement of his remaining pieces offer him a very strong attack."
Black also has a strong attack after 31. Ka2 Rb4 (even stronger seems 31... Rd3! 32. Qe1 Rxd1 33. Qxd1 Qa5+ 34. Kb2 Rg8->) 32. Rh3 Ra4+ 33. Ra3 (else 33...Nxd4 is strong) 33... Nb4+ 34. Kb2! (not Adelman's 34. Kb3? Rxa3+ 35. Kxa3 Qa5+ 36. Kb2 Qa2+ 37. Kc1 Qa1#) 34... Kd7! (34... Rxa3? 35. Qxb4!+-) 35. Rxa4 bxa4 36. Rb1 Rc8!->
#There now follows "A simple shot that white had overlooked. Although white ends up with a rook, bishop and knight for the queen, black's remaining pieces coupled with the strong placement of his queen, his connected passed pawns and the exposed nature of the white king gives black a won game." More complicated, but apparently no less winning for Black, was 32. Rb1 Qc6+! 33. Nc3 Qc4 34. Bf1 (34. Qe3 Kd7!) 34... Qb4 35. Nxd5 (35. Na2 Qa4 36. Nc3 Qa3 37. Qe1 Kd7 ) (35. Rxb3 Qxb3+ 36. Kc1 Kf7 ) 35... Qa3 36. Rxb3 Qxb3+ 37. Kc1 Qf3!
"A strong move that ties up Massey's pieces for a few moves and gives Stoyko some time to push his queenside pawns."
If white plays 51. Bg8 the bishop will never leave its prison at g8.
White resigned Actually this little finesse is not needed since after 53... Bxd4 the bishop defends the a7 square. A wild game by our Kenilworth Chess Club champs!
[Charles Adelman and Michael Goeller]
Steve Stoyko - Todd Lunna [D13]
2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (7) 1985
The exchange line of the Slav takes away all of Black's dreams of grabbing the c-pawn and holding it with ...b5. Meanwhile, White develops naturally and Black must accept relative passivity since an early development of his Bishop would weaken his b-pawn.
This bid for counterplay leaves Black with the structural weakness of an isolated pawn.
Too weakening of the dark squares around Black's king.
White is considering a favorite Stoyko tactic of Kg2 and Rh1 followed by hxg6.
This idea is well-known from the King's Indian Attack, where a pawn on h6 in a heavy-piece ending guarantees White long-term attacking prospects.
The pawn-grab 33... Nxa3! 34. Rc1 (34. g4!?) 34... Nc4 35. Rxc4 dxc4 36. Qxc4+ Kf8 37. Ne6+ (37. Qc8+ Qe8 38. Qc5+=) 37... Kg8 likely was not attractive to Black on its face, but computer analysis suggests that White has nothing better than a perpetual.
A winning infiltration.
White forces mate. 49. Nd7! is one move faster.
Steve Stoyko - Ansel Schiffer [E75]
2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (8) 1985
Never give your opponent a break if you can help it...
"This order of moves is rarely played nowadays; usually black plays ...e6 on move three. The key difference is that when black plays ...ed white must recapture with the c-pawn leading to a double-edged game where black has some possibilities with his 3-2 queenside majority and pressure along the half-open e-file. However, now when black plays ...ed white can recapture with his e-pawn leaving white with a good game and no counterplay for black since he has no 3-2 queenside majority nor does he have any pressure along the e-file."
"One can und erstand black's desire to swap pieces, but his move undermines his other knight and makes it easier for white to shove the f-pawn to uncomfortable proportions."
"Everyone expected Stoyko to play 21. Bxd7 Nxd7 22. Qxd6 and black's game collapses, but Stoyko prefers to play for a brilliancy. However, a few days later a fairly low-rated player asked Stoyko what black can do if white just drops his bishop back to c2. The answer? Just resign!! All the masters in the Futurity had missed this move!" 21. Bc2!!-+
"What's this? Has black blundered two pieces for a rook? The answer is quite convincing."
"Black resigned The most pleasing mate is 27...Kd4 28.Rf4+ Ne4 29. Qc3#. This is called a model mate since none of black's flight squares are attacked by more than one white piece - an economical mate indeed!"
Steve Stoyko - David Koval [A57]
2nd Bergen Futurity/Westwood, NJ (10) 1985
The Benko Counter Gambit
8... Nxe4!? wins a pawn, though White has compensation due to his excellent development: 9. Bc4 Nf6 10. Qe2 Bb7 11. Bf4 with tactical pressure for White. Notice how White's system turns the tables on the Benko gambiteer, presenting him with a pawn and a passive position, which is the last thing he'd want and which may account for his early collapse.
White's two Bishops and strong control of the center give him a clear edge.
This natural "Benko" move meets an immediate refutation.
Games in PGN
Complete games from the 2nd Bergen Futurity